Volume 6, No. 4 - April 2017

In The Know

- Keeping you informed is what it's all about

Appointments and Insurance Transactions

A licensee may not transact insurance or adjust claims until he or she is appointed by an insurer, adjusting firm, general lines agent or the licensee (in the case of a self-appointed licensee), in accordance with the class(es) of licensure held. For instance, if an individual is licensed in the classes of life, including variable annuity and health, and wishes to market all three types of products, he or she must be appointed by either an insurance company authorized under its Certificate of Authority to transact all three of these lines of business or by separate companies for each line. For example, if Company ABC appoints an agent to sell only life insurance, then the agent will still be required to obtain an additional appointment(s) with an appropriate company for each of the variable annuity and health portions of his or her license, if the agent intends to market these products.

Who can appoint licensees?

  1. Insurance companies appoint agents and insurance company employee adjusters.
  2. Licensed and appointed General Lines (Property & Casualty) insurance agents appoint customer representatives, crop hail and multiple-peril crop insurance agents.
  3. Adjusting firms appoint independent and public adjusters.
  4. Surplus lines agents, reinsurance intermediaries, professional bail bond agents, viatical settlement brokers, and self-employed independent or public adjusters are responsible for appointing themselves.
  5.  A temporary bail bond agent is appointed by the limited surety (bail) agent employing the temporary bail bond agent.

To verify your license and appointment status, you can log in to your MyProfile account or use our public licensee search

Public Adjusters - Are You Ready For Hurricane Season?

The time to be sure your license is in compliance is now - not when a storm is heading our way! This is a short checklist to ensure your license is in good standing:

  • Is your license active?
  • Are you self-appointed or appointed by an adjusting firm?
  • Do you have the required $50,000 surety bond?
  • Are you compliant with your continuing education requirements?
  • Has a primary adjuster been designated for your firm?
  • Is all contact information up-to-date? You can update it at MyProfile.
  • Are any apprentices licensed and appointed?
  • Do you have your Department issued license with you?

Department Access to Licensee Records

The Department's right to conduct investigations and attain access to the accounts, records, documents, and transactions pertaining to or affecting the insurance affairs of any licensee is addressed in s.624.317, F.S.

Every person being investigated, and its officers, attorneys, employees, agents, and representatives, shall make freely available to the Department or Office or its examiners or investigators the accounts, records, documents, files, information, assets, and matters in their possession or control. If records relating to the insurance transactions are maintained by an agent on premises owned or operated by a third party, the agent and the third party must provide the Department with access to the records. [s.624.318, F.S.]

Any individual who willfully obstructs or denies the Department or investigator access to business records is guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be punished as provided in s.624.15, F.S.

The Department and its investigators make every attempt to secure access to licensee business records in an amicable manner, however, should a licensee refuse to provide access, the Department will obtain a subpoena which is enforceable in circuit court. Refusing to honor a court order can result in contempt of court and other charges being filed against the licensee.

Unlicensed Agency Personnel

Unlicensed personnel have limited discretion as to how they can support the operations of an insurance agency. Permitted and prohibited activities are described in Rule Chapter 69B-222, F.A.C. Incidental activities and compensation are two of the most important points to remember when employing unlicensed personnel. Incidental activities as described in the rules cannot exceed 10% of an employee's overall activities and compensation cannot be made based on the individual production of the unlicensed person. The following actions are never allowable by unlicensed personnel:

  • Comparing insurance products; advising as to insurance needs or insurance matters; or interpreting policies or coverage.
  • Binding new, additional or replacement coverage for new or existing customers; or binding coverage on or recording additional property under existing policies.
  • Soliciting the sale of insurance by telephone, in person, or by other communication. However, the unlicensed person may telephone persons to set appointments for licensed and appointed agents, customer representatives, or to obtain basic policy information as to existing insurance coverage. The unlicensed person may not engage in a substantive discussion of insurance products.

Transacting insurance without the appropriate license and appointment, regardless of the line of business, is a third-degree felony, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, F.S.

The Florida Statutes Now Available Online

The most current Florida Statutes can now be viewed at Online Sunshine - Title XXXVII Insurance.